Career path of a product manager

Product Management
Career Path
21 Oct 2022

The career path of a product manager is filled with exciting responsibilities and has its own ups and downs. However, for any job profile, understanding the essential career requirements is important. Hence, it is crucial to understand the different responsibilities that lie with each title within the product manager portal.

Every company has its own way of defining a career path of a product manager. A lot depends on the product manager themselves, and the initiatives that they are willing to take to excel in that role.

The most standard career path of a product manager as per the industry is:

Associate Product Manager

This is an entry-level role. The hiring managers are waiting for you to demonstrate that you have what it takes to be a product manager and that you have a good understanding of product management. It’s not a position where you are expected to know more, but artistically gather the necessary skills required to execute your responsibilities.

Sometimes also called a product analyst. An associate product manager usually works with a senior product manager who is like a mentor. The senior product managers teach the junior product managers tips on how to become good product managers. In many organizations, one might not find this position.

Product Manager

After working as an associate product manager for around one to two years, you will move to become a product manager. As mentioned, becoming a product manager requires experience. But, it is not a necessary requirement. Sometimes professional experience can also display good communication skills, collaborative skills, and prioritisation skills. Even without hands-on product experience, a product manager will need that confident attitude and should be able to tackle basic product concepts.

A product manager will be owing to a part of the product or will build a new product from scratch. The product manager is held accountable for a product.

Senior Product Manager

In this senior position, the product manager might still be working on one product or a big high impact product for the company. They could also be working on a vertical, and manage a couple of product managers under them. These product managers will be working on individual products and the senior product manager will overlook them.

A successful senior product manager possesses a great amount of experience. S/he should be able to make quick decisions and willing to be held accountable for them. A senior product manager should also lead by example, make data-driven decisions as well. A senior product manager is highly experienced with a deep understanding of the product and market.

As the role progresses in the hierarchy, the role of the product manager focuses less on the execution on an individual product but instead on setting the vision for either that product or a vertical or portfolio of products. Here, the product managers make sure that all sub-products are moving in a direction specifically aligned with the goals of the user.

So, what are the few things you need to become a product manager?

A product manager must have strong verbal and leadership skills. A product manager is responsible for not only his own work, but since his work involves a great many people from different departments. His analytical skills must be top-notch, and he should learn to manage time efficiently. Product managing is a job that comes with a great deal of stress and challenges, and product managers must be able to deal with stress. They must be affluent with computer skills, along with other technical capabilities. Product managers must have common business sense, marketing knowledge and the ability to handle detailed logistics.

Salaries at Indian companies for Product Managers

A product manager earns a salary between ₹ 1,26,000 to ₹ 75,00,000 per annum, with an average of ₹ 17,00,000. Ranging from ₹ 12,00,000 at the 25th percentile to ₹ 24,50,000 at the 75th percentile, with top earners earning more than ₹ 30,39,200.

Flipkart: Average salaries for Product Managers at Flipkart is ₹ 35,25,000. This estimate is based upon 12 Flipkart Product Manager salary data points provided by Flipkart employees and data points collected through other sources.

Paytm: Average salaries for Product Managers at Paytm is ₹ 20,00,000. This estimate is based upon 6 Paytm Product Manager salary data points provided by Paytm employees and data points collected through other sources.

Adobe: Average salaries for Product Managers at Adobe is ₹ 36,00,000. This estimate is based upon 4 Adobe Product Manager salary data points provided by Adobe employees and data points collected through other sources.

Is being a product manager a good career choice?

Product management is clearly an evolving field, and can be considered a staple career choice among individuals interested in the product sector. However, there are many misconceptions about the field, and the paths that you take to become a product manager can be different and vicariously varied. Therefore, if you have the confidence required to become a product manager, this varied lifestyle will cease from intimidating you.

First of all, if you like the idea of consumerism, and customers buying your product, then you should give this career choice a thought. If you often wonder about the problems they face, and how to solve them, then product management might actually be right for you. There are several reasons why not to pursue this career, however. People are often misled with the thought that product managers make all the decisions in the team, and therefore it's a good career choice to have—no one has to do your thinking for you. This is false.

Being a product manager is not about being the ‘idea’ person and making decisions. It's not about just listening to product pitches and randomly choosing designs. Therefore, it is highly essential that one understands what it is a product manager does.

Product management is a field that includes assisting in making decisions and carrying an equal amount of workload and heavy lifting that you can’t and shouldn't be surprised by. If you’re someone who is interested in gaining some initial experience at work that does not involve decision making, start analysing your product’s core metrics. Try to come up with an insight every day and share it with friends or colleagues you trust. It can even be just an idea that you've based on the things you’ve analysed, or a question you have now that you know more!

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